Adjust & Reline
New dentures are made to fit properly, but as the tissues in your mouth change over time, your dentures will need to be adjusted, relined, and eventually replaced. A new denture often requires adjustments to relieve sore spots that may have developed while you’re becoming used to it. We can often make these adjustments right here in our office. Over time, however, the fit of your denture will change noticeably. The main reason is that the bone in your jaw continually shrinks when natural teeth are missing. In fact, during the first three years, it’s not uncommon to lose 40 to 60 percent of the jawbone. In addition, some habits, such as sleeping with dentures or grinding and clenching, can accelerate the shrinkage.
Weight loss of gain can also change the contours of your gums. These changes mean that several months after you get your new denture, its surface may need to be relined for a better fit, and during the lifetime of the denture, it will need to be relines periodically.
Every 5 to 10 years or so, your mouth will change so much that the denture will simply need to be replaced. Sometimes we can have the same teeth set in an entirely new denture base. In other cases, we’ll have an all new denture made for you. It’s important to wear a denture that fits well, because loose or badly fitting dentures can lead to infections, sores, and excess scar tissue in the mouth. It can also make chewing more difficult and change how your jaw muscles and joints function.
You may realize that your denture needs to be replaced when:
- A reline is not enough to improve the fit.
- Mouth tissues are always sore or irritated
- Facial features change
- Difficulty chewing certain foods
- Dentures fall out when you talk or laugh
- The denture teeth are worn of the denture broken
- Headaches, pain in your jaw joints or neck.
With regular care and upkeep, dentures can remain a functional and good-looking treatment for missing teeth.
Some people believe that their dental problems will be solved if they have their teeth removed and get dentures. But instead, as most denture wearers will tell you, this marks the beginning of many new and different problems.
Some of these problems include:
- Difficulty eating and tasting your food
- Sore spots in the mouth
- Loss of jawbone
- The ongoing necessity of denture adjustments and remakes
- Changes in your facial appearance
- Related costs.
Eating can take much longer because you can apply only about 15 to 25 percent of normal force when chewing with dentures. They also make many foods more difficult to eat. This is particularly true for fruits and vegetables which are crucial for your overall health.
Tasting food can be more difficult too, especially with upper dentures, which cover the taste buds on the roof of the mouth. Gagging can also be an issue with upper dentures. Some people with an active gag reflex find them impossible to wear.
Sore spots are often a problem because the tissues in the mouth were never made to have plastic continually rubbing against them.
The most serious problem is the loss of jawbone. When teeth are missing, the jawbone does not get the stimulation it needs from chewing, and the jawbone begins to shrink. This causes a denture to become loose. After a few months, the denture will have to be relined, and every few years, it will need to be remade completely to keep it fitting properly. This is particularly true for lower dentures. The base for a lower denture is smaller to begin with, and as the loss of bone flattens your lower jaw, there’s very little to hold the denture in place. Even worse, the shrinkage can expose nerves that pass through the jaw, so the jaw hurts and can go numb every time you bite down.
The loss of jawbone also changes your appearance. Your nose gets closer to your chin, and your lips collapse. This causes wrinkles and makes you look older. When you add all up all the costs, dentures can end up being more expensive than treatment to save your teeth.
These include the costs:
- Removing the teeth
- Making the dentures
- Periodic relines and remakes.
For all these reasons, we recommend that you choose treatment to keep your natural teeth.
When all of the teeth in an arch are missing, we may recommend a full denture for replacing them. By replacing missing teeth and providing support for lips and cheeks, full dentures can help solve a variety of problems caused by missing teeth including:
- A compromised appearance
- Difficulty eating and talking.
To determine if dentures are right for you, well perform a thorough exam of you gums and any remaining teeth. The exam typically includes x-rays to check the health of jour jawbone. We’ll also take impressions to create an accurate model of your mouth. The best positions of the center line and lip line will be recorded, so the denture teeth can be placed attractively, and we’ll work with you to select the best color and shape for your new teeth.
There are several types of full dentures, so we’ll talk with you about the best one for your situation. If you are missing all of the upper or lower teeth, dentures can be good way to help you eat more easily, speak clearly, and have a natural-looking smile.
When several teeth are missing, we may recommend a partial denture for replacing them. Partials can prevent a number of dental problems, including:
- Shifting teeth
- Difficulty keeping teeth clean free of plaque and bacteria
- Problems with chewing and eating
- Grinding and clenching
- Problems with the jaw joints
When teeth are missing, neighboring teeth begin to shift, and the opposing teeth begin to extrude out of their sockets. These changes create places around the teeth where plaque and bacteria can quickly accumulate, increasing the risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease. Changes in the bite also put chewing forces on the shifted teeth. This can lead to grinding and clenching and painful problems with the jaw joint, the TMJ. In addition, an uneven bite can make it harder to chew and enjoy your food. To determine if partial dentures are right for you, we’ll do a thorough exam, checking the health of gums and neighboring teeth, taking x-rays to assess the shape and health of your jawbone, and taking impressions to create an accurate model of your mouth. We’ll also work with you to select the best color and shape for your new teeth.
There are several types of partials, so we’ll talk with you about the best one for your situation. Partial dentures replace missing teeth, and they’re a good way to maintain a stable bite and restore a natural-looking smile.
When several teeth in an arch are missing, a flexible partial denture is a good treatment for replacing them. Flexible partials are removable appliances that are held in place by gum-colored clasps that fit around the remaining teeth. To create a flexible partial, we take impressions of your mouth, and an accurate model of your mouth is made from these impressions. The lab uses this model to create a wax replica of the final denture, called a wax-up. Depending on the circumstances, we may have you try in the wax-up, and we’ll note any changes to the fit of the base and the color, shape, and placement of the teeth. We then send it back to the lab, and they process it to create the final denture. When the denture is ready, you’ll try it in, and we’ll make any necessary adjustments.
Flexible partial dentures have several benefits:
- They help stop your remaining teeth from shifting
- Balance your bite, so you’ll chew better and have a healthier jaw joint
- The denture is not bulky, so it fits comfortably
- Materials blend with natural tissues
With proper homecare and regular checkups, your flexible partial can provide a functional bite a natural looking smile